Transcending Experience to Open the Future 

Touchstones designs custom programs for chief officers and other executive management professionals that allow them to step outside the bounds of their daily responsibilities through lively and engaging discussions with peers from different fields. Through programming that blends historical and classical instances with contemporary issues, executives view and examine broader issues at play in their respective domains.  Each program focuses on current issues that concern all leaders: globalization, technology, conceptual change and modification, and leadership development and succession.

Touchstones addresses issues of globalization, governance, and diversity through timeless sources.  For example, one series of executive sessions explored texts from Imperial Rome and its 300-year efforts to reconcile the oppositional forces at play in ideologically, geographically, and demographically heterogeneous societies. Additional programs have included texts from the Renaissance to regard how established memes can be adapted in a period of extreme transition; texts preceding the American and French revolutions consider how patterns in society reveal discontinuous change;  examination of Islamic texts to enhance cultural and social awareness; among others. These semi-monthly or monthly programs include 10 to 20 ninety-minute meetings.

Based on the background of participants each custom session can be curated to meet specific topics. For example:

Leaders in Global Markets

Leaders and global managers explore topics critical to their success and evolution in global markets through the writings of Tacitus’ Annals, Virgil’s Aeneid,  Caesar’s Commentaries and other classical writings.

Building New Paradigms

Through examining the emerging paradigms of Renaissance geniuses Dante in his Purgatory,  Erasmus in his Praise of Follie, and Machiavelli’s Prince, executive leaders enliven their creative thinking to form and explore strategies and opportunities beyond their current boundaries.

Enhancing Civic Leadership

The role of leader as citizen is elucidated through works from Locke, Madison, de Tocqueville on creating a democratic present, from Burke, and Hegel on conserving the past and from Marx on shaping the future. The program fosters increased organizational and cross cultural thinking.

Participants in Touchstones exclusive executive programs can expect to:

  1. Push themselves intellectually and personally to assess their strengths and liabilities.
  2. Deconstruct paradigms to seed new approaches
  3. Practice new modes of shared leadership with peers from diverse professional and cultural perspectives.

To see past examples of custom designed executive programs please visit Our Work in Action page.